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Staining concrete vs epoxy for living room

My wife and I are wanting to remove the carpet from our living room/dining room and either stain the concrete or paint it with an epoxy paint.  I've looked at pictures on the internet and like they way they both look but get varied opinions as to which is better (durability, maintenance, cost,, etc)  Do you recommend one over the other?  I don't know exact measurements but it would be roughly 500-600 square feet

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Posted 2013-10-28T04:57:32+0000  by jmckay jmckay

Welcome :smileyhappy: we are so glad you joined the community!


I love the look of a well done concrete floor - it just seems to add a lot of character to a room. 


There are a few things to consider before moving ahead:


Often times when pulling up carpet you will discover that the carpet pad has been glued in place. This will cause a series of lines to appear (like swirls and waves) that will not consistently take a stain.  You will see those lines and will not be happy.  Also, when you pull up the outside edges of the carpet strips you will want to patch those holes. These holes will also show up through a stain. The only solution is to grind down the surface with a floor grinder and then a floor polisher.  Also, you will want to clean the floor and apply an acid etcher to help open the pores in the concrete.


However, there are tons of other options that work just as well:


   The secret to a successful concrete floor is the clear protective coat that is applied on top of whatever design you decide on.  Floor grade Polyurethane is the best solution (is the same clear coat that hardwood floors have) and will provide a solid surface for living on.


Here are a few ideas for the floor:


  • 2 part epoxy coatingBEHR Epoxy Coating can be mixed in several colors (see color chart at your store) and will be sufficient without a clear top coat.
  • Solid color concrete stain – Either one color or a blend of two or three will give a wonderful “Café” feel. You will want to apply a top coat of poly to protect the floor.
  • 1 part epoxy paint/floor paint – paint either one consistent coat or make a design like checkers or diamonds using several different colors. Use your imagination – the sky’s the limit.  You will want to apply a bonding primer and apply a top coat of poly for this application.


Posted 2013-10-28T15:06:56+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL



The finishes that one sees on floors in restaurants and commercial buildings are actually acid stains. They result in a coloration that penetrates deep into concrete, not merely a surface color subject to wearing off. Being an acid, it "eats" it way down into the lime of the concrete. Once applied, it is then covered with a urethane or epoxy clear coating to impart shine and ease of cleaning.


Home Depot does carry acid stains on its website. Just type in "acid stains" in the search box and a selection will pop up.

Posted 2013-10-28T16:27:56+0000  by ordjen

If we decide to go with the 2 part epoxy,  will the floor preparation be the same as staining?  In other words, will I have to patch the holes,  etch the concrete, etc before applying the epoxy?  

Posted 2013-10-28T17:01:51+0000  by jmckay

Yes.  :smileyfrustrated:


The acid etching will open the pores on the cement and help the epoxy adhere.


The holes are optional...If they bother you then patch them with Fast Plug using a putty knife.



Posted 2013-10-28T19:17:48+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL
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